A couple of weeks ago, I went to my local coin store to look for a coin album for my completed Peace Dollar collection. After searching the store, the owner said he didn’t have any at the moment, but would order one for me. While there, I noticed a number of used blue Whitman coin folders. It reminded me as a kid 40 years ago with my first blue folders, and being excited about filling the holes.
Today, I want to talk about my introduction to coin collecting through the use of Blue Whitman Folders and possible interest in filling in some more of those holes.
A Great Start
Back in the 1970s, I had four blue Whitman folders: two Lincoln Cent folders from 1909 to 1940 and 1941 to 1974, and two Jefferson Nickel folders from 1938 to 1961 and 1962 on. With the help of a couple of glass piggy banks that my mom had, I was able to fill the holes in the latter Lincoln Cent and Jefferson Nickel folders with ease. I filled most of the first Jefferson Nickel folder. Except for the 1950-D, I would find the remaining nickels in the hot lunch money my dad would leave on the kitchen table daily.
As you can imagine, the first Lincoln Cent folder would be the toughest of the four. After finishing going through my mom’s banks, I still had empty holes in that folder. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, my friends and I would venture to a local coin store looking to fill these holes. I think I got the 1911-D, 1912-D and 1913-D there.
After these folders, I would buy more including ones for Buffalo Nickels, Kennedy Half Dollars and Eisenhower Dollars
I couldn’t tell you how many times I opened and closed this Lincoln Cent album looking at what I was missing. As you can see here, the album would show wear. I taped some of it and even put a pin in front of one of holes to keep the coin there. After college, I stopped looking at these folders and put them in storage.
A Return To The Coin Folders
My local coin club has an auction at the end of the meeting. A recent one had early Lincoln Cents in Fine and Very Fine conditions. I was looking at the coins before the meeting started, but did not stick around for the auction. It did get me thinking about the old blue Whitman book. So, I started looking at it again to see how many pennies I was missing in that book. It turns out there 13 empty holes including the key and semi-key dates. I thought I may try to fill some of those remaining holes. Obviously, I’m not going to include the key dates like the 1909-S, 1909-S VDB, 1914-D and the 1931-S, but maybe I’ll try to get the other 9 remaining dates.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I was looking to get a Peace Dollar album, but added up getting a new Lincoln Cent folder. Looking at the folder, I saw the first cent I should get, the 1910-S. I was able to get one in Very Fine condition. So, that’s one down. That leaves the 1911-S, 1912-S, 1913-S, 1914-S, 1915-S, 1924-D, 1926-S and 1931-D. I am also considering replacing some of the cents in there that are in Good or Very Good condition. Most of them won’t cost much to improve them.
So What Am I Trying To Tell You Here?
- Coin Folders are a good way to start Coin Collecting. If you want to collect coins, this is the way to begin. Get a Harris or Blue Whitman Folder on a coin that interests you. I put a link to the Whitman site at the top left side of this article if you’re interested in getting started. Good starters would be Jefferson Nickels or Roosevelt Dimes. You can find them in change, at least the clad ones. If you do get a folder, don’t put uncirculated coins in them. That’s what coin albums are for.
- Coin Collecting is what you make it. Like I said previously, you can get a folder for most US coins, whatever you like. You can even get folders without dates. So, you can get a plain cents folder and put whatever cents you want in it. There is also a 20th century type set folder where you can put in all of the coins that came out in the 1900s.
- Coin Folders are definitely for the collector, not necessarily for the investor. The Lincoln Cent album has a spot for a 1909-S VDB and the Mercury Dime album has the 1916-D, but do you want to include them in coin folders? Some people put in fillers for these holes. Fillers are low detail rare coins like a Good or even About Good condition coins so you can say you filled the whole folder. I’ve seen someone have a Mercury Dime folder with a low detail 1916-D. I think the grade was AG-3. He put it in just so he could say he had a completed Mercury Dime set.
Get a Coin Folder, and get started.
So, which coin folder would you start with or did you start with? It would be interesting to see what people collect, or want to collect.